Page 27 - Education Programs
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                                                Author Unknown

                                                    Short Talk Bulletin: May 1924

In our study of the Square we saw that it is nearly always linked with the Compasses, and these
old emblems, joined with the Holy Bible, are the Great Lights of the Craft. If the Lodge is an
“Oblong Square” and built upon the Square (as the earth was thought to be in olden time), over it
arches the Sky, which is a circle. Thus Earth and Heaven are brought together in the Lodge - the
earth where man goes forth to his labor, and the heaven to which he aspires. In other words, the
light of Revelation and the Law of Nature are like the two points of the Compasses within which
our life is set under a canopy of Sun and Stars.

No symbolism can be more simple, more profound, more universal, and it becomes more
wonderful the longer one ponders it. Indeed, if Masonry is in any sense a religion, it is Universe
Religion, in which all men can unite. Its principles are as wide as the world, as high as the sky.
Nature and revelation blend in its teaching; its morality is rooted in the order of the world, and its
roof is the blue vault above. The Lodge, as we are apt to forget, is always open to the sky, whence
come those influences which exalt and ennoble the life of man. Symbolically, at least, it has no
rafters but the arching heavens to which, as sparks ascending seek the sun, our life and labor tend.
Of the heavenly side of Masonry the Compasses are the Symbol, and they are perhaps the most
spiritual of our working tools.

As has been said, the Square and the Compasses are nearly always together, and that is true as far
back as we can go. In the sixth book of the philosophy on Mencius, in China, we find these words:
“A Master Mason, in teaching Apprentices, makes use of the Compass and the Square. Ye who
are engaged in the pursuit of wisdom must also make use of the Compass and the Square. Note the
order of the words: the Compass has first place, as it should have to a Master Mason. In the oldest
classic of China, “The Book of History,” dating back two thousand years before our era, we find
the Compasses employed without the Square: “Ye Officers of the Government, apply the
Compasses.” Even in that far off time these symbols had the same meaning they have for us today,
and they seem to have been interpreted in the same way.

While in the order of the Lodge the Square is first, in point of truth it is not the first in order. The
Square rests upon the Compasses before the Compasses rest upon the Square. That is to say, just
as a perfect square is a figure that can be drawn only within a circle or about a circle, so the earthly
life of man moves and is built within the circle of Divine life and law and love which surrounds,
sustains, and explains it. In the Ritual of the Lodge we see man, hoodwinked by the senses, slowly
groping his way out of darkness, seeking the light of morality and reason. But he does so by the
aid of inspiration from above, else he would live untroubled by a spark. Some deep need, some
dim desire brought him to the door of the Lodge, in quest of a better life and a clearer vision.
Vague gleams, impulses, intimations reached him in the night of Nature, and he set forth and
finding a friendly hand to help knock at the door of the House of Light.

As an Apprentice a man is, symbolically, in a crude, natural state, his divine life covered and ruled
by his earthly nature. As a Fellowcraft he has made one step toward liberty and light and the nobler
elements in him are struggling to rise above and control his lower, lesser nature. In the Sublime
Degree of a Master Mason - far more sublime than we yet realize - by human love, by the discipline

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